If you're soon returning to work and want to keep feeding your munchkin breastmilk, a breast pump is a must. Even if you'll be home with your baby, a breast pump can help ease engorgement in the early days, allow your partner (or Grammy!) to feed your baby from a bottle, and make it possible for you to have an occasional evening out.
Since double-electric pumps are pricey (though still much less expensive than buying formula), many women register for a pump, so family and friends can pool together to gift it to them. Pumps are also part of Affordable Care Act, which means that some health insurance plans will cover the full or partial cost of one. Check with your policy provider before you buy, though, to understand any stipulations.
Whether you want to pump several times a day or just occasionally, the following eight breast pumps get high marks from American Baby.
Courtesy of Medela
Top of the Line
Medela's Pump in Style Advanced has a durable motor, a battery pack for times you can't find an outlet, "letdown" mode that helps get the milk flowing, and adjustable settings. This double electric pump is pretty much a working mom's best friend. ($270)
Courtesy of Lansinoh
Lansinoh's new Affinity Pro Double Electric Breast Pump has three modes that help you quickly pinpoint the best speed for you, an LCD screen that keeps track of how much time you've been pumping, and soft cups that help keep you comfy through every pumping session. Also, the price is nice! ($134)
Courtesy of Tommee Tippee
Makes Life Easier
Tommee Tippee's Closer to Nature double electric breast pump is new, but it's already gaining fans. It has comfy silicone cups, four settings, and comes with all kinds of extras, including breast pads and milk storage containers. ($250)
Courtesy of Philips AVENT
Ideal for Travel
The compact design of Philips AVENT's Comfort Double Electric Breast Pump makes it great for taking your pump to and from work every day. You can set the motor to remember the speed and suction you prefer, and a petal design on the cups helps stimulate letdown. ($280)
Courtesy of Dr. Brown's
Dr. Brown's turned to professional lactation consultants to help design a pump that minimizes discomfort. The flexible cups provide an alternative to the traditional plastic cone-shaped ones. ($250)
Courtesy of Ameda
Many hospitals rent out Ameda pumps, but if you want your own, consider Ameda's Double Electric Ultra Breast Pump Dual HygieniKit. It works to be sure all your milk lands in the collection bottle or freezer bag instead of spilling or getting stuck in the tubes along the way. ($300)
Courtesy of Evenflo
Moms who only occasionally pump should look into the Evenflo Dual Electric Breast Pump. This bargain option may not come with many frills, but it does have an adjustable vacuum and an AC adapter. ($56)
Courtesy of Philips Avent
A single manual pump comes in handy for relieving engorgement or providing the occasional bottle for baby. It's good for travel, too, since there's no battery or electricity needed. ($40)
The Basics of Using a Breast Pump